α-Asarone in management of sleep deprivation induced memory deficits and anxiety in rat model
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Insomnia is associated with anxiety and memory deficits. α-Asarone, an active principle of Acorus species, which has anxiolytic and memory-restoring properties, was recently identified as a potential hypnotic with the least side effects. The current study was conducted in rats to find out whether the hypnotic dose of α-asarone can produce anxiolytic and memory restoring effects. α-Asarone (10 mg/kg, i.p.) and its vehicle were administered to rats, deprived of sleep by gentle handling for 5 h for 5 days. Spatial memory was assessed in the radial arm maze. Anxiety was tested using elevated plus maze and open field test. In addition to using the vehicle of the drug as a control, midazolam (2 mg/kg, i.p.), a known anxiolytic, was also used as a positive control. Increased anxiety levels produced after sleep deprivation were reduced after α-asarone administration. The anxiolytic effect was comparable to that produced by midazolam. Increase in the reference and working memory errors, resulting from sleep deprivation, was reduced after α-asarone injection. It also produced an improvement in the percentage of correct choices. Decreased lipid peroxidation and increased activities of catalase and glutathione reductase facilitated the improvement in cognitive functioning. α-Asarone, is not only a good therapeutic agent for insomnia and associated anxiety, it can also reduce insomnia-associated memory deficits. This is the first report on the anxiolytic and cognition enhancing property of α-asarone in sleep-deprived rats.
Keywordsα-Asarone Sleep deprivation Anxiety Memory RAM EPM
Elevated plus maze
Open field test
Radial arm maze
The work was supported by the research grant from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi, India (CSIR Sanction No: 37(1543)/12-EMR II). AR was supported by CSIR Junior Research Fellowship. We acknowledge Dr. Lakshmi R for her assistance in the RAM test.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
None of the authors has any financial interest or conflicts of interest related to this work.
All the procedures employed in this study were approved by the Institutional Animal Ethics Committee of the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum, Kerala.
Wistar rats were obtained from the Division of Laboratory Animal Sciences, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum, Kerala.
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